DVR Security System Review


DVR Security System

DVR Security System Overview, Cost Effective Surveillance


DVR security systems are an efficient and cost effective means for home and business owners to set up CCTV on their premises. If you have recently had a survey carried out by a security company for the installation of a CCTV system, you may have chocked at the price you were quoted. If so you are in the right place, we aim to inform you about hardware and software available that you can use to set up a surveillance system. Whether your needs are small or large, today’s technology gives you the means to set up an effective surveillance system yourself.

One of the quickest and easiest ways of setting up a surveillance system is by setting up a digital video recorder. Not everyone is comfortable with opening the case of a PC to turn it into a surveillance system, even so this can be very cost effective. If you want a surveillance system but don’t want to modify your PC, consider a digital video recorder (DVR) that is dedicated to surveillance. Security DVR’s record video in a similar fashion to modern entertainment DVR’s, the main difference is a security DVR is designed to accommodate CCTV cameras.

Many security DVR’s can be connected to the net allowing you to control the system while your away from your home or business through Internet Explorer. Video from your attached surveillance cameras is stored on the DVR’s internal hard drive, many security DVR’s include built in DVD/CD burners for extra storage.

Your surveillance camera needs may be large in which case you may want to consider a dedicated DVR security system. This can consist of anywhere between four and eighty (or more) security cameras and a custom PC for managing the system. If you already own a PC, you can save money on setting up your own surveillance system by attaching some hardware to it. One camera may suit your needs but if you want to attach more than four or five to your PC then you can install a DVR card.

DVR cards enable you to attach multiple security cameras to your PC; typically you fit DVR cards to a free PCI slot within your PC’s casing. There are varying models of DVR card, some enable you to add four security cameras to your system while others allow much more. DVR cards are capable of processing both the video and audio (providing your security camera is fitted with a microphone) picked up by your security cameras. A cheap DVR card will cost you $30 (or about £15) if you shop around, a top of the range DVR card may cost you $700.

Other than modifying your PC to set up your surveillance system you will need to consider what CCTV cameras to install. Carrying out an assessment of the area you want to fit surveillance cameras to will help you decide. Are conditions of the surveillance area freezing, dark or constantly visited by vandals? If so there is always a security camera that your can attach to your system that will serve the purpose of carrying out surveillance. Many types of security camera are designed to operate in freezing cold conditions, the dark and also to withstand attempts of vandalism.

On the other hand you may need to carry out surveillance on a single individual without their knowledge. Hidden cameras come in many different guises; some of these include teddy bears, clocks, and PC parts. These types of digital camera typically work independently so you don’t need additional hardware to operate them. Another type of covert camera is the pinhole camera. Pinhole cameras are extremely small and can be fitted to a button on your clothing or to a multitude of other places without being seen.

Just a handful of methods for setting up a DVR security system are mentioned above, there are many more. Navigate the menus to find out about DVR cards, standalone and custom DVR systems, surveillance cameras and more. Use this website to find out about the tools that will enable you to set up a surveillance system that suits your needs. You can contribute by sharing your opinions and experiences on what surveillance tools work and what don’t.

Check out the categories and feel free to use the search facility at the top of the page if you are looking for equipment from a specific manufacturer.

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Defender Sentinel 9 4 Channel Security DVR Review

The Defender Sentinel 9 is another addition to the Defender range of surveillance systems, although it has significant features that are clear improvements compared to previous models there are a couple of aspects that are inferior.  Firstly lets take a look at video compression, the Sentinel 9 uses MPEG-4 compression, this choice is definitely a step ahead considering that M-JPEG compression is used in previous models in the Defender range.

MPEG-4 compression enables you to record smooth video with the Sentinel 9, much more so when compared to any of their models below the Sentinel 5.  At maximum the DVR can record video at up to 120 frames per second, you can also record in both PAL and NTSC video modes.  In NTSC mode you can record video at a maximum resolution of 704*480 and PAL recording offers a slight improvement in resolution that being 704*576.

Video is stored on the DVR’s internal hard drive and this has a capacity of 160 gigabytes, models prior to the Sentinel 9 have larger hard drives, one can only assume that Defender chose to fit a 160GB to this model as its video compression method requires less storage space.

Still the hard drive space doesn’t cause an issue as the system can be set to record continuously for up to 240 days, in order to do this you would have to be recording using its lowest video quality setting.  If necessary you can swap out the systems internal Seagate hard drive for one that has a larger capacity.

There are four quality settings you can select when recording video with the security recorder and these range from low, standard, high and highest.  4 surveillance cameras are included with the system and these can be connected to either of its 4 BNC or DIN attachments.  The cameras are weather proof, suitable for indoor or outdoor use and they can record activities on your premises in the dark, the DVR has motion sensor capabilities but the included cameras don’t have motion sensors.

As with other DVR’s in the Defender range you can monitor activities recorded by the Sentinel 9 remotely, you can also configure the system to email you when specific events occur.  The DVR has four audio inputs and one audio output, this allows you to set up at least one two way audio system on your premises, very useful if you need communicate with people at entrances prior to their access.

Four alarm inputs are built into the recorder and these can be used to trigger recording (with the use of separate alarms), there is also one alarm output built into the DVR that can be used to notify anyone on site when it starts recording.  As with many models in the Defender range the Sentinel 9 includes a monitor, the one included here has a 17 inch color TFT screen.

Check the latest price on the Defender Sentinel 9 Security Recorder.

Laser Shield Wireless Alarm System Review


The Laser Shield wireless alarm system offers you a low cost means of protecting your premises with the use of motion sensors. One thing that can be said is the Laser Shield alarm system is ‘loud’ and will catch anyone’s attention if it should be triggered. There is a good chance the alarm system will scare off an intruder when triggered as the sound produces up to 105 decibels.

Laser Shield have a growing number of accessories for their alarms systems, this is the starter kit and it consists of the siren which plugs into a standard electricity socket and one wireless motion sensor. The motion sensor is suitable for detecting motion in one room; additional units are low priced and up to 11 of these can be connected to the alarm.

At maximum the motion sensor can detect movement at a rage of up to 35 feet within a 110-degree pattern in front of the device. The sensor included with the alarm system can be used at a range of up to 150 feet away from the main unit. Each sensor requires a power source but they also have a backup battery that ensures the unit remains active for up to 12 hours if your premises should experience a power loss.

A panic button is built into each sensor that be used to activate the alarm system at times of emergency. The alarm system reports its status verbally and will tell you whether the system is armed or disarmed. Once you arm the device you have sixty seconds to vacate your protected area, when you re-enter the area in question you have 20 seconds to disarm the system before the alarm is triggered.

You can control the functions of the alarm system remotely by making a call through your telephone. Through your telephone you can arm or disarm the alarm system and this feature can also be used to listen in on activities on your premises with the use of a microphone.

Check the latest price on the Laser Shield Wireless Alarm System

Lorex DVR L15LD414161 Surveillance System With 4 Security Cameras


The Lorex L15LD414161 observation system consists of a 15 inch monitor with a built in digital recorder and 4 surveillance cameras.  The DVR built in to the Lorex system has triplex functionality allowing you to play back and record video at the same time.  Camera footage is stored on the DVR’s internal hard drive, this has a 160 gigabyte capacity and can store a significant amount of video, you can change out the hard drive if you decide you need more space, the system accomodates hard drives that have up to a 400 gigabyte capacity.

The Lorex system uses MJPEG video compression and is compatible with both PAL and NTSC video signals.  In PAL mode the DVR can record images at a maximum resolution of 704*288, NTSC video signals offer a slightly lower image quality, that being a maximum resolution of 704*240.  The DVR is also capable of recording images in CIF mode and has a maximum recording speed of 120 frames per second.

A password protection system is built in so only authorised personnel are able to control its functions.  You can set the DVR to record video non stop or to save hard drive space you can set it to record only at times when motion is detected.  You also have the option to schedule recording or you can connect external alarms to the system, when the DVR detects an attached alarm has been activated it will start recording footage.

There are four alarm inputs built in to the DVR and it also has an alarm relay output, the alarm relay output can be used to notify you or anyone else on site when motion has been detected in a restricted area.  The alarm relay output can be used to alert you instantly when an intruder is hanging around a door or some other area that is off limits.

The cameras included with the system can be used in either PAL or NTSC mode and they have a maximum horizontal resolution of 420 TV lines.  The Lorex DVR can also be connected to the Internet or a LAN, attaching the DVR to the Internet with your broadband router gives you the ability to monitor events from your home or business while you are away.

Check the latest price on the Lorex L15LD414161 Surveillance System With 4 Security Cameras

Skylink ML-100 AAA Security Alarm Review


If you have no alarm system on your premises and wish to install one that has motion sensing capabilities the Skylink ML-100 AAA security alarm may be worth considering.  The system can alert you through your mobile if there is a security breach and it also has a built in siren.  The system includes three sensors and can accommodate more if you want multiple rooms on your premises to be protected.

The main component of the Skylink alarm system is the ML-001 control panel, this is the device that accommodates the sensors and other hardware included.  You can program the control panel with up to five telephone numbers that can be dialled when motion is detected by the system.  The control panel is wall mountable and you can program it to turn electronics on and off to make your premises appear occupied if you are away.

All sensors attached to the control panel are constantly monitored and it will alert you if it looses communication with a sensor.  You have the option to receive alerts when a sensor is triggered without triggering the systems alarm, this can prove useful for monitoring activity outdoors.  An AC mains adapter is included to power the control panel and it also has rechargeable battery that kicks in automatically if your premises should experience a power outage.

A Skylink PS-101 AAA motion sensor is included with the system, this has a motion detection range of 110 degrees and can detect objects within a 40 foot range.  The sensitivity of the sensor is adjustable, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and is also wireless.  The two WD-101 sensors included with the alarm system are designed to protect doors and windows on your premises, these are also wireless and operate on batteries.

A key chain remote is included with the alarm system that can be used to control its functions from a distance.  If you don’t have experience with installing a wired alarm system on your premises the Skylink security alarm is a good choice.  The system is very easy to set up and could prove instrumental in protecting your property.

Check the latest price on the Skylink ML-100 AAA Security Alarm

Panasonic BB-HCM581A Network Camera Review


The Panasonic BB-HCM581A security camera has high zoom capabilities and can be connected directly to computer networks.  A standard PC can be used to operate the camera and it has pan, tilt and zoom capabilities, when monitoring the feed from the camera you can click on a zone within the image and the camera then focuses on the area.  You can pan the cameras lens around 360 degrees and it can tilt up and down 210 degrees.

The camera can be used to monitor areas of your home or business 24 hours a day, alternatively you can attach a variety of external sensors to the camera.  Depending on what sensor is attached the camera can trigger recording through means of motion, light or sound detection.  At maximum the camera is capable of capturing images at a speed of 30 frames per second regardless of the selected image resolution.  The maximum image resolution for the Panasonic camera is 640*480, you can also select between 320*240 and 192*144 image resolutions.

Multiple users can view the feed from the camera through a web browser and there is a password protection system that can be used to ensure only those who are authorised can control its functions.  The Panasonic security camera uses JPEG and MPEG-4 compression and it can also process audio, you can communicate two ways with the camera and it has a 3.5mm microphone jack built in.

You can use the camera to protect your premises at both day and night, it has a ¼ inch CCD image sensor, 21* optical zoom and 2* digital zoom.  You can set up the camera with the use of one CAT5 cable that is used to both power the camera and transmit its data stream.  You can stay informed via email about activities detected by the security camera, email protocols are built directly into the camera and it can email you an image the moment activity is detected by its built in sensor.

A personal web address can be set up for the camera so you can monitor its feed from any location that has Internet access.  Accessing the web address requires a password and once you have the system up and running it can prove useful for checking up on things at your premises when your away.

Check the latest price on the Panasonic BB-HCM581A Network Camera

Panasonic BB-HCM371A Outdoor Wireless Network Camera Review


Here is the Panasonic BB-HCM371A security camera, you can control the devices functions remotely and it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The camera is suitable for protecting a variety of areas within your home or business and can be used to set up a two way audio communication system. There is a built in heat sensor that can be used to determine when the camera activates recording and it also has a connector that can be used to attach external sensors.

SMTP software is built into the camera so you can be kept aware of activities that transpire within your home or business via email, when the camera detects activity such as a person entering a room it can warn you about this instantly. The camera operates wirelessly so you don’t need to go to the trouble of running wires around your premises to get the device up and running. To ensure intruders are unable to receive the feed from the camera it uses WEP encryption, the camera is compatible with other 802.11b/g wireless devices.

The Panasonic security camera can produce color images and it uses JPEG and M-JPEG compression. At maximum the camera can produce images at resolution of 640*480. The camera can process images at a maximum speed of 30 frames per second but this can only be achieved using an image resolution of 160*120. Up to 30 users can view the camera feed with the use of an Internet browser simultaneously, it also has a pre alarm image buffer.

Certain mobile phones can be used in conjunction with the camera and you can even use these devices to control the camera, it is also possible to receive snapshots from the camera through particular mobiles. A ¼ inch CCD image sensor is built in to the Panasonic security camera and it has a clear dome covering. White balancing controls are built into the camera and these can be controlled manually by the user or you can set the camera to control this manually.

An SD card slot is built into the camera so you can insert memory cards into the device for storing images, there are two input connectors and one output connector and these can be used to attach numerous external devices to the camera. The camera can also be powered with the use of PoE (power over Ethernet), it comes with a flexible stand and screws and a CD ROM for installation and set-up.

Check the latest price on the Panasonic BB-HCM371A Outdoor Wireless Network Camera

Sony SNC-CS50N Multi Codec Fixed Network Camera Review


Here is the Sony SNC-CS50N security camera, it is designed to be connected to computer networks and the device supports two different types of compression. The camera can be assigned its own unique IP address and multiple users are able to view the feed simultaneously. The cameras feed can be viewed through Internet Explorer with the use of Active X controls, each person wishes to view the camera feed will need a unique password.

The browser controls for the camera enable you to control many of its functions, you can zoom in and out, adjust the frame rate and adjust the cameras volume controls. The user interface for the camera also has a function that allows you to quickly send images to colleagues by file transfer protocol or by email. You can use the interface to save images to the cameras memory and to control the built in alarm outputs.

The Sony security camera is capable of capturing images at both day and night, there is also a built in voice alert feature. You can use voice alert to record a message and then playback that message for whatever reason for the benefit of those in the vicinity of the surveillance camera. There is also an audio input built into the camera so you can hear activities in the cameras range, the camera uses G.711 and G.726 audio compression.

At maximum the security camera is capable of capturing images at a maxim speed of 30 frames per second, it uses H.264, MPEG-4 and JPEG compression. The camera is capable of capturing images at a pixel range of 640*480 and it has a vari-focal zoom lens, inside the camera is a 1/3 inch SuperEXwave CCD image sensor. The camera has a horizontal resolution of 540 TV lines and it this version uses an NTSC video signal.

At the back of the camera is a BNC video input and it has two sensor inputs that can be used with a variety of external devices and it also has two alarm outputs. You can connect the camera directly to computer networks through its built in RJ-45 Ethernet connector and it is compatible with a variety of network protocols.

Check the latest price on the Sony SNCCS50N Multi Codec Fixed Network Camera

Sony SNC-Z20N Fixed Network Camera Review


Here we have the Sony SNC-Z20N with the ‘N’ denoting the fact this is the NTSC version of the Sony security camera. The SNC-Z20N is designed to operate on computer networks and is capable of capturing footage at a speed of 30 frames per second. The security camera can be connected to networks in a variety of ways either by connecting it to a DVR or PC already connected to a network and you can use the network connector built in to the back of the camera.

Numerous controls are built in to the back of the camera so you don’t have to be at a monitoring station to operate all of its functions. With the on board camera controls you can zoom in and out and select either telephoto or wide camera views. The camera can be used to connect a variety of devices to your security system, it has a built in RS-232C interface, a sensor input and two alarm outputs. The alarm outputs can be used to notify personnel when the camera detects motion on your premises with the use of an external alarm.

You can monitor the camera feed with a variety of PCs, the required specification is a machine with a processor that runs at least 500MHz however the higher the specification of your computer the better. You can view the camera feed through Internet Explorer with the use of Active X controls and control the cameras functions. The Sony security camera has an effective pixel range of 768*494 and an electronic shutter speed range of 1 to 1/10000 sec.

The security camera has exposure controls that include auto, shutter priority, iris priority and manual, there are also white balancing controls that include from automatic and manual settings and there are preset indoor and outdoor white balancing modes. The camera has a color image sensor, it is capable of capturing images at both day and night and has a maximum horizontal resolution of 470 TV lines.

Various network protocols are compatible with the camera including TCP/IP, HTTP and DHCP, it is fitted with an analog video output and uses JPEG compression. The camera includes all the necessary hardware need for installation and it also includes wire rope to protect the camera if it should be disconnecting from its housing.

Check the latest price on the Sony SNC-Z20N Fixed Network Camera

Skylink SC-1000 Wireless Alarm System Review


Here we have an alarm system that is suitable for both homes and business owners, the Skylink SC-1000 has an extensive control panel and can accommodate up to 30 alarm sensor devices. The alarm system is a low cost security option and is ideal for letting you know when an intruder enters an area that is off limits, you can use the alarm system in conjunction with a variety of security recorders in order to trigger the device to record.

The Skylink alarm system operates wirelessly and can be used in conjunction with numerous alarm devices including smoke and sensor alarms. Skylink have created an alarm system that provides you with peace of mind as you can program the device to ring you on your telephone when an alarm has been activated. There are other security systems that can contact your local Police station when an attached alarm is activated, the only problem with these systems is the bill you receive for their operation and possible false alarms.

The Skylink alarm system is the next best alternative to alerting the authorities straight away when a system alarm is activated, there are no monthly fees involved to use the device continually. You can set up the system to contact any telephone number you want so you can still program in the number of your local authorities if you wish.

The alarm system can actually be programmed with up to nine different numbers giving you quite a lot of choice when it comes to who it will contact, if you have a business you can program the alarm system to notify an employee, if you want to use the alarm to secure your home you can program it to contact a close friend or a member of your family.

Both numbers and letters are included on the keypad built into the alarms systems security control panel, while the panel  has three letters they can’t be used as part of the security codes but you can use three or more digits. The keypad buttons have a light at their rear and you can see what buttons are being depressed clearly in dark conditions, the system also emits a chime whenever you press one of the buttons on its keypad.

The emergency dialler also has a back lit keypad and you can program this to play a specific message that can be heard by individuals it contacts when an alarm is activated. The length of the message you can program into the system is relatively short at 40 seconds but it should be enough to relay important information or suggestions. The message you program into the system is repeated multiple times and this should prove useful if the person listening to what is being said has any problems with their hearing.

The SC-1000 consists of two devices with keypads those being the emergency dialler and the control panel, the system also includes a motion sensor. The alarm system also includes two sensors that can be situated by doors or windows, a keychain transmitter and cabling for connecting the system to your telephone line.

Check the latest price on the Skylink SC-1000 Wireless Alarm System


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